Situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and featuring densely forested upland, Purden Lake Provincial Park is a popular RV getaway for visitors and residents alike. The modern history of the park dates back to 1879 when surveyors were searching for a route for the Canadian Pacific National Railway. The supervisor of the project was named M.H. Purden Bell and the current day park takes its name from him. Nowadays, the park is massive, encompassing 6970 acres (28.21sqkm).
The park is situated within the Fraser Basin, which is an irregularly shaped depression that is formed by gently rolling hills and shallow lakes. The area is truly beautiful and offers stunning views at every turn. Visitors to the park will find a diverse range of vegetation in the area, including mixed forest that includes white spruce and lodgepole pine at lower elevations along with Douglas-fir and sub-alpine fir further up.
As the name of the park implies, Purden Lake Provincial Park is next to Purden Lake and it is the hub of recreational activities in the summer. Swimming, fishing and boating are very popular as the crystal clear lake invites people to come and kick back, relax, and get out there on the water. Along with lakeside activities there are also hiking, wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities for those who are interested.
Purden Lake Province Park has 78 campsites for RV visitors with facilities including pit toilets and sani-station that are operational during the summer months. During the winter time the park completely closes so the park is open from May until the end of September.
Purden Lake Provincial Park is located in eastern British Columbia and is around 38 miles (62km) east of Prince George. The park has one entry and exit point that is in a fairly easy to reach location as it is directly off Yellowhead Highway.
Services and amenities to Purden Lake Provincial Park are located quite close to the park as a resort is only three miles (5km) to the east. Here you will be able to find services such as gas, propane, boat rentals and a restaurant. There are no other towns within the vicinity of the park that have amenities available so your best bet will be to stock up on major supplies if you are coming from Prince George in the west or McBride in the east.
Accessing the park is quite easy thanks to Yellowhead Highway being the main road to where you turn off from. The road into the park is asphalt and very well maintained with no trees overhanging the road. You will also not have to worry about tight bends as the road is nice and wide. Since the park closes down throughout all of winter the road is not maintained and you will not be able to reach it during this time.
There is plenty of parking at Purden Lake Provincial Park.
There are no public transport options to reach Purden Lake Provincial Park.
Purden Lake Campground is a lovely campground that is very popular and well maintained. The campground features paved roads to all sites and there is lots of privacy and it is known for being very quiet. In total there are 78 sites that include seven double units. 12 of the sites are tent-only, so you have 66 RV friendly sites to choose from. All sites at Purden Lake Campground are primitive with no electrical, water or sewer hookups.
Being primitive that doesn't mean the park has no amenities. Visitors will find water collection points, firewood and flush toilets conveniently located throughout the park. There is also an adventure playground and horseshoe pitches to entertain the little ones who are joining you on your RV getaway. The park is also pet friendly but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
Since the park is a popular place to stay you should reserve a site online or via calling the park before you arrive so that you will be sure to have a site. If you don't do this and plan to come over the weekend during summer you could find yourself without a place to stay!
For those who want to do more adventuring and exploring during their stay at the park you should consider checking out the trails. While there are no strenuous trails at Purden Lake Provincial Park there are multiple lakeside walking trails that you can use. These trails travel through a great diversity of plant life and will also provide you with some lovely scenic views of the park. Park staff recommend for your own safety and the preservation of the park to keep to the designated trails.
For the fishing lovers you will be happy to know that Purden Lake is a very productive fishing spot. Fishing in boats is very popular, but if you don't have a boat you can still fish off the banks around the lake. The most sought-after prize is a big rainbow trout but some people choose to target angling for burbot. Unfortunately you will not be able to go ice fishing on the lake during the winter as the park will be closed. If you do want to fish during your stay you need to have a fishing license and follow the rules and regulations.
Thanks to the dense forest and varying terrain there is a wide variety of wildlife to view when visiting the park. Some of the animals that you may catch a glimpse of are beaver, snowshoe hares, squirrels and porcupines. Black bear and moose are also year-round residents of the park and the surrounding area. As for birds, bald eagles and ruffed grouse are often spotted in the park, along with the haunting call of the common loon that you will hear breaking the silence of the evening. If you are looking for a specific animal talk to the park staff and they will be happy to give you more information.
Having a relaxing afternoon picnic is one of the finer things in life and the facilities at Purden Lake Provincial Park will give you the chance to do so. There is a large beach-side day-use area that is the most popular picnic area in the park. Here you will find 48 picnic tables and a log picnic shelter that also features a wood stove. The picnic shelter is the best place to be if you have a large group but keep in mind that it is non-reservable. We recommend getting to the shelter early if you want to guarantee that you can use it.
Swimming isn't the only way to have fun on Purden Lake. Boating is achievable thanks to a concrete boat launch being available near the campground. You will see many forms of boating out on the lake, including canoes, kayaks, waterskiers and fishing boats. For boaters and waterskiers, a separate beach has been developed adjacent to the swimming area where you can moor, take a break and enjoy the sand. There is no guarantee rentals will be available at the park, however there are rentals available at the private resort that is three miles (5km) to the east.
If there is one thing that is certain it is that the beach at Purden Lake will be a hub of activity during the hot, dry days in the park. Swimming in the clear water of the lake is very popular with visitors and you are encouraged to stay within the marked swimming area. There is an abrupt drop-off marked with floats and no lifeguards are on duty. Once you have taken a dip you can get some sunbathing done on the sandy beach or go change at the change houses in the day-use area.